Reminiscent of the Cold War that ended in the late 80’s, a Russian fighter jet approached a U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft flying in the Black Sea Tuesday and got alarmingly close. This the day before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Washington.
The Russian aircraft got as close as 20 feet to the American aircraft and remained THAT close for five minutes, according to a U.S. defense official.
“While this one was considered by the flight crew to be safe and professional, this sort of close encounter certainly has the possibility to become dangerous in a hurry,” the defense official said.
The Russian fighter jet, an Su-27, made it’s approach to the P-8A Poseidon while it was in international airspace. The Su-27 was scrambled after the Poseidon appeared to approach the Russian border, it eventually caught on and changed course.
Two things to note: It was safe and professional and this time we were in their ADIZ Air Defense Intercept Zone like they did Alaska.
Russian officials called the jet’s intercept a “greeting” maneuver.
“After approaching a plane at a safe distance the Russian pilot visually identified the flying object as a U.S. surveillance plane P-8A Poseidon,” the Russian military said in a statement Friday.
Unlike Russian intercepts in the past, this Russian jet approached the US Navy recon plane “slowly,” according to the defense official. The entire encounter lasted about an hour.
“It goes on almost every day of the week,” the official said. a separate official said about 60 such incidents have occurred since 2007, RT reported.